Aston Villa F.C. ~ Claret and beef

Introduction: Aston Villa’s colours are a claret shirt with sky blue sleeves, white shorts with claret and blue trim, and sky blue socks with claret and white trim. They are the original wearers of the claret and blue having stated some time after 1886.

File:Aston Villa FC logo (2000-2007).svg

[This is the pre-2007 badge, for extra claret-y]

To celebrate this fact here is a claret, beef and mushroom stew for the making of.

Preparation time: 30 mins

Cooking time: First half 30 mins, second half 3 hours

Home kit: large ovenproof casserole, slotted spoon, two set aside plates

Away kit: 4-6 dinner plates, knives and forks

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 7 rashers streaky bacon, cut into inches
  • 8 shallots
  • 400g quartered button mushrooms
  • 1.5kg stewing steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 tbsp. oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 bottle claret (Bordeaux)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • bunch of fresh herbs
  • flour
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Method: Preheat the oven to 150oC

First half

Fry the bacon in the casserole dish until lightly browned. Add the onions and cook in the bacon fat for about 5 minutes then add the mushrooms, stirring gently for about 5 minutes. Scoop out of the casserole with the slotted spoon and set aside.

Pour the oil into the casserole dish and brown the steak cubes in small batches (too many and they steam rather then fry). Set them aside as you go. That done, put the browned meat back in the casserole dish, add the garlic and sprinkle the flour over the meat. Place in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes while you prep the herbs and perhaps taste a little of the wine?

Second half

Now we season the dish, add the wine and the herbs (any mix of thyme, rosemary, tarragon, bay leaves, parsley), sugar, salt and pepper then cover and cook the casserole in the oven for three hours, while you adjourn to the pub/match.

Full time result

On your return add the bacon/shallot/mushroom mixture. Return to the oven and heat while you boil the potatoes that you are going to serve it with.

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